In a few days Connie and I will celebrate our forty-sixth anniversary.
It shouldn’t have worked. They said it wouldn’t work. (They being almost everyone we knew, including my Best Man.) We were ridiculously young. Broke. Clueless. Without any obvious direction. They should have been right. But they weren’t. And it has. Happily I might add.
But this isn’t about marriage. Everyone’s not going to be married. Some people shouldn’t get married. And of those who do, over half will fail. The average marriage in America today lasts eight point six years. Then there those miserably married who stay married through obligation. So this isn’t about marriage. It’s about relationships.
On this side of “The Door” I’ll share some thoughts on romantic relationships. (Whaat?!? Moi, an expert on romantic relationships? Not really, but I have learned a few things). These thoughts apply to any romantic relationships, whatever the persuasion. And like every “rule” there is always an “exception.”
ANNIVERSARIES ARE IMPORTANT.
I don’t know how I knew that as our first arrived, but I did. So we went to Southern Kitchens, a now defunct, all you could eat, upscale southern cooking restaurant in Dallas. It has a prixe fixe menu of around twenty-five dollars, and we were limited to soft drinks because of our age and Pentecostal sensibilities. (Things that we have since gone beyond!) I sweated the whole meal, mentally adding the tab, because I only had sixty-two dollars, no credit cards, and I knew that I needed to leave a tip. Happily I got out of there with fifty cents left. You might think that foolish, spending all of your limited means on an anniversary dinner, but anniversarie’s are important. Whatever the anniversary. If it’s significant to the person you’re involved with—remember it!
POTENTIAL IS IMPORTANT.
We were poor. We were clueless. But we had a sense of potential. Every relationship should carry the feeling that it will become something more. For us it was ministry. For you it may be something entirely different. Regardless, if there’s potential in the relationship, in all probability it will last.
Since this has a romantic slant, you should see some potential in the person that you’re involved with. And not just the potential to make you happy, which they won’t, unless you’re already happy. Connie believed that I would be successful in ministry and that we would have a good life. I thought she was beautiful and sent from God. We were both right, but we both discovered a lot more potential than we ever dreamed of.
BE ROMANTIC BUT DON’T BE A ROMANTIC.
There will be flowers. There will be an anniversary dinner. There will be anniversary gifts (I get one too!). That’s all romantic, but we are not romantics. Perplexed?
A romantic is someone that has a certain ideal of the way things should be, of the way a person ought to act, an ideal that is never realized because it’s an ideal and nothing, nor no one, is ideal. My father was a romantic. He had an idealized image of marriage. He was married nine or ten times, (we lost count), looking for the perfect woman. In the end he said, “I never should have divorced your mother.” Be romantic but don’t be a romantic.
GO FOR NICE.
Before you go for beauty or brains, go for nice. Fortunately I got all three. Connie is beautiful, smart, but most of all, she is nice. And it’s good to be with someone who is nice—especially if you have a tendency towards cranky.
We are no longer young (but not yet old!!), aren’t broke, and have a clue. We are looking towards the next phase of the journey as the adventure continues. On our anniversary we’ll join friends in a nearby city for dinner. The two pound lobsters have already been ordered (I specified female because I like the coral), I’ll have more than sixty-two dollars in my pocket, and several Amex cards. And they said it wouldn’t last.
When you join me “Behind The Door” I’ll share some practical insights on building lasting, profitable relationships—insights that work in any kind of relationship—personal, professional, or ministry. And then, since this week and last have been on relationships, I promise—next week a primer on prosperity and why owning a jet may not be a sign of prosperity consciousness. You won’t want to miss any of it!
It’s the first of the month and the password has changed. To get the new password hit the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any amount into this ministry. The default setting is twenty dollars—you can lower that amount (at this point no one is!) or you can raise it as several do. I set it up this way so that anyone willing to invest in themselves can go “Behind The Door.” The password is good for the entire month so write it down. I’ll meet you “Behind The Door.”